How and why to maintain ground engaging tools (G.E.T)

Protecting your earthmoving equipment with appropriate, well-maintained ground engaging tools (G.E.T) will lead to improved safety outcomes and reduced maintenance costs.

Ground engaging tools (G.E.T) are designed to protect, but if they are worn out or not fit-for-purpose, you face damage to your asset and reduced productivity.

In contrast, high quality and well-maintained ground engaging tools (G.E.T) will directly drive productivity and safety through improved performance and reduced unplanned maintenance.

Increased efficiencies are found in improved cutting, digging and grading performance resulting in increased output and reduced operator fatigue.

Well maintained ground engaging tools also lead to improved fuel consumption and reduced stress on engines, linkages, hydraulic hoses, and other assemblies, meaning reduced maintenance costs and decreased downtime.

How to perform preventative maintenance on ground engaging tools (G.E.T):

By planning preventative maintenance on ground engaging tools (G.E.T), worn parts can be replaced before productivity is compromised or damage to your machine occurs.

The result will reduce unplanned maintenance and associated safety risks, as well as help ensure you can plan to ensure the necessary parts are in stock if a replacement is required.

Scheduled preventative maintenance should be performed on ground engaging tools (G.E.T) and a machinery operator should also perform a visual inspection on their daily walk around the machine and check for:

  • Excessive or uneven wear or damage to buckets, tips, edges and adaptors
  • Any loose or missing hardware or components
  • Cracks on edges or welded joints
  • Damaged or missing retainer bolts or pins
  • Missing adaptor covers

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Replace or rotate worn parts immediately as they will compromise performance and place stress on the machine. To minimise downtime or the temptation to operate with a compromised product it is advisable to keep spare ground engaging tools (G.E.T), such as bucket teeth and other parts, in the machine and ensure operators are trained on how and when to replace them.

When loose hardware is found, tighten or replace it immediately or you risk damage, including to bolt holes, meaning it will be impossible to keep future hardware tight.

Replacement schedules: Never use cutting edges, end bits, tips or wear plates beyond their service life. They are cheap and easy to replace compared to what they are designed to protect.

Rotate your ground engaging tools (G.E.T): Edges, end bits and tips can be rotated to achieve maximum wear life, and keep them sharp and even.

Analyse wear patterns: By staying on top of maintenance and conducting routine inspections, wear patterns can be analysed and benchmarked to identify operator error or determine if the wrong tools are being used for the terrain.

Drive safety and productivity with maintenance and quality:

While there are always going to be breakdowns and required maintenance, using high quality, long-lasting ground engaging tools (G.E.T) and staying on top of maintenance will reduce the likelihood of unexpected downtime.

Given that the most dangerous job is the one that is unplanned, by having a strong maintenance framework you will minimise the risk of an incident.

Furthermore, by using longer-lasting ground engaging tools (G.E.T), you minimise replacement schedules, further driving safety and productivity.

For a complimentary ground engaging tool (G.E.T) and greater Site Audit conducted by a Cutting Edges specialist, get in touch with us today.

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